New Food Friday – Jicama

2 Nov

I hope you are having as much fun with New Food Friday as I am.

This Friday I’m discussing Jicama.  It’s pronounced, Hic-ama.  Jicama is a tuber and it is also known as the Mexican potato. The skin is like a potato and it is white inside like a potato.

This Jicama reminds me of a spinning top

It is easier to slice and peel than a potato.

It tastes nothing like a potato though. When you bite into a piece the first taste is mildly sweet. The next thing you will notice is that it is crunchy and very juicy, like an apple. But it doesn’t taste like an apple either.

I haven’t decided what it tastes like. Some say it tastes like a water chestnut.  You’ll have to let me know what you think it tastes like!

I picked the smallest Jicama I could find at the store. They can grow to be big! It was $1.24 per pound and mine was a smidgen over one pound or $1.29.

I found that you need two different knives to cut Jicama. A large chef’s knife for slicing and a small paring knife for peeling the skin.

I also thought it was very easy to peel and slice. It wasn’t slippery or sticky.

Hummus and Jicama

As I said in last Friday’s post, I would talk more about the Ziyad plain hummus and tahini dip (the non-spicy one).  It goes perfectly with Jicama! A marriage made in heaven! Great for those of us watching our weight.You can see from the photo that when it’s sliced into strips, it looks like uncooked french fries! These strips hold their shape.  They don’t break under the weight of the dip. You might become “addicted” to the crunch.

Storing Jicama

Jicama stores well in the fridge after you peel and slice it. It doesn’t turn brown and it stays juicy and crunchy in a covered container.  If you like to have celery and carrot sticks with your dips, Jicama is a great addition! I am really impressed with this tuber.

Some people like to add Jicama to salads.  You can also sprinkle lime juice on Jicama slices and then top with salt or chili powder.

I think these juicy sticks would be great for hikers or beach goers because of their high water content.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: ½ cup raw

Calories: 48
Carbohydrate: 11 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Potassium: 162 milligrams

Jicama is 85% water by weight.

Kids will also like Jicama because of its mild sweetness and the crunch factor. Just don’t tell them it’s a vegetable!

So far, I have talked about Jicama in its raw state only. However, you can also cook Jicama. You can add it to a stir fry or add it to stews.

I’m sold on this vegetable. What do you think of it?



10 Responses to “New Food Friday – Jicama”

  1. camparigirl November 2, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Love, love jicama, which I only discovered when I moved to California. I never saw it in Europe. It adds crunchiness and freshness to any salad and I favor it over carrots or cucumbers. And, as you said, good for you too


    • Marcella Rousseau November 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      I’m looking forward to squeezing lime juice over it with either salt or chili powder. That’s almost like having a Margarita! lol!


  2. chrissyg22 November 2, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Hi Marcella, Thanks for sharing this! I have a good raw food recipe book i purchased about a year ago and I love many of the recipes. I have to confess I have come across Jicama at the market and never even pick one up! This recipe book has a lot of smoothies and meals using it and I just never got the courage to give it a try. I think it was just the not knowing how to handle it or peel etc. This is really helpful! I think my kids will enjoy this. (now off to tackle the recipes lol) After a bad intro to Cactus pears, I can get quit nervous around the unfamiliar. 🙂


    • Marcella Rousseau November 2, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Sure! Your comment is exactly the reason I created New Food Friday. I feel exactly as you do! A lot of these vegetables have labels on them that tell you how to use them. (At least they do at Meijer. Small plug for Meijer.) So that label helps me get started. Then of course there is the Internet where you can find out anything. I’m a fairly adventurous eater and since I’ve been seeing more and more new foods in grocery stores I just couldn’t resist any longer! I’m so glad my post was helpful to you. I think your kids will like it too. What is the name of your recipe book? I haven’t tried Cactus pears but I think I know what you’re talking about. What happened with them?


      • chrissyg22 November 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

        The book is ‘Raw food Real world’ by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailias.

        A neighbour of ours gave me a small case of cactus pears which i had no idea what they were at the time. She gave me their name but in another language and I couldnt understand. I accepted them not wanted to be rude. (I was prego with my littlest at the time) So they sat on my table a couple days till I started searching the internet high and low to find what these things were. They looked like sweetpotatos with little white hairs. I couldnt find anything. finally I took a picture and posted it on facebook to see if anyone could identify them. In the meantime, I decided I was going to crack one open and see what it was all about. I took one and did so. Tasted like a pear and looked odd. Shortly after I got a reply on facebook warning me to handle them carefully and wear gloves b/c they were cactus pears. Well….it took me about a week to get the little pricks out of my soar hands with a really good tweezer. Terrible! I have yet to find any cactus pears in the market to this day.


        • Marcella Rousseau November 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

          Thank you for the book title. It would certainly be harder to find out what they were if you didn’t know the name of them. They do sell them at Meijer but they are the red version and are already cleaned so all someone would have to do is peel them. Judging by the age of your little one in the photos I am guessing that you received these pears about a year or more ago. It’s not hard to believe that in that time some information was added about them on the Internet. I found a few good sites that explained what they were (after you gave me the name of them) and one site wrote that he only used them for the juice of the fruit for drinks or gravies. On another site I read that people could be allergic to this fruit! They are also called Prickly pears. I also found photos of what it looks like when the “skin” is peeled. There’s practically nothing left to the fruit; the skin is very thick. Considering all that, I don’t think it would be something I’d want to try. I’m so sorry to hear about your suffering! No food is worth what you went through. Frankly, I wonder about the motivation of your neighbor! It’s questionable if it was really a gift! Just curious, does your neighbor have any children?

          According to WebMD, pregnant women should AVOID this fruit:
          Click on the different tabs on the page to see all side effects, etc.
          Thank you for telling me and my readers about your experience. You did a good thing.


  3. Staci Troilo November 2, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    We used to eat it as a snack in the fall. I always thought it was mild, close to flavorless, kind of like a fall wonder that my grandfather would bring over and we didn’t know what to do with so we just sliced it and ate it. I think it’s kind of becoming trendy now. I wouldn’t mind experimenting with it again. I wonder what my kids would think of it.


    • Marcella Rousseau November 2, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      There are many varieties of Jicama. Did your grandfather get the one that is shown in the photos? Mexican ingredients have become more popular now. I’ve noticed that there are more Mexican cooking shows on PBS too although they don’t seem to stay around long which is a shame because the two that I’ve watched were excellent: Patty’s Mexican Table and Daisy Cooks. Jicama is a great low calorie food that weight-watchers can eat a lot of and not worry about calories! Try eating it with the hummus I suggested and my other suggestions. Like carrot sticks and celery sticks, Jicama goes better with an accompaniment.



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